+++ Hoon and Hewitt call for Brown leadership ballot

by Stephen Tall on January 6, 2010

Poor Gordon Brown. He actually had (another) pretty good day at Prime Minister’s Questions – of which more later – but that won’t matter diddly-squat now … all the news is of the latest move by some Labour MPs to defenestrate him.

Yes, I know, it’s hard to keep up. In 2008, Siobhain McDonagh [who she? – Ed.] resigned from the Government, calling on Mr Brown to quit. In 2009, James Purnell resigned from the cabinet, calling on Mr Brown to quit. The result: nada, nothing, niet. He’s still there.

And now in 2010, former cabinet ministers Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have written to all their fellow Labour MPs. To call on Mr Brown to quit? No, not quite. They just want a secret leadership ballot to ‘clear the air’. There’s political courage for you! Astoundingly, they even claim:

Strong supporters of the Prime Minister should have no difficulty in backing this approach.

Yeah, right.

Well, it all makes for nice afternoon’s excitement, and is at least a distraction from news about the snow. But it won’t happen. The timing’s wrong, and (as I’ve argued before), there really isn’t an obvious better candidate for Labour leader.

Full text of their letter can be found at The Guardian website.

Update: Nick Clegg’s Chief of Staff, Danny Alexander MP, has given his response:

Labour has given up any hope of winning this election and given up on governing the country. Labour MPs are now in a desperate scrabble to save their own seats and minimise their defeat.

“People have no reason to vote for a party that’s failed to deliver fairness, failed to fix the rotten political system and failed on the environment. The only party to vote for in the next election if you want a fairer society is the Liberal Democrats.

“The country doesn’t need a secret a ballot to get rid of Gordon Brown, it needs a General Election.”